It is a pleasure to be here today to launch the 2017 OECD Scoreboard on Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs. It is an honour to welcome Minister Padoan, an old friend of the OECD, here at our Washington Centre. And it is a very timely moment to take a closer look at the issue of SME finance.
Thank you for your welcome, and thank you to the Washington International Trade Association for hosting today’s event. The OECD is a longstanding advocate of open markets. I am delighted to be among so many ‘‘friends of trade’’ to share the OECD’s latest data, analysis and reflections on developments in the global trade landscape.
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Seven years after the global financial crisis, lending to US small businesses is still below the precrisis levels and credit conditions remain tight for many of these firms. A more diversified set of options for SME financing should continue to be pursued to support long-term investment and reverse the trend decline in the number of start-ups.
U.S. employers are demanding skilled workforces, but are not always able to find a local supply, says a new OECD study looking at Job Creation and Local Economic Development.
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A three-day international workshop on innovation and the global impact of high-growth small and medium-sized firms (SMEs), organized by OECD with the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, hailed entrepreneurship and the fast growth of innovative small firms as the engines of economic growth.